CITY COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES – 6-30-99
The City Council of Pelican Rapids met in regular session at 3:30 p.m., on 6-30-99, in the Pelican Rapids Public Library meeting room.
Present: Mayor Wayne Runningen, Council Members Paulette Nettestad, Denise Magnusson, John Waller III and Dave Gottenborg. Absent: none. Also present: City Attorney Scott Dirks, Administrative Assistant Richard A. Jenson, Deputy Clerk-Treasurer Glenys Ehlert, Utilities Superintendent Brent E. Frazier, Streets Superintendent Vern Benson, Alan Martinson, Kathi Martinson, Elizabeth Martinson, Gina Erickson, Robert Erickson, Mazie Wick, James Wick, LouAnn Schleske and Dan Elton.
Meeting called to order by Mayor Wayne Runningen.
The following items were added to the agenda: Request for Carnival and House on Hwy 108 West.
City Attorney Scott Dirks and Council Member Nettestad addressed council regarding Street Improvement Policy. Council Member Nettestad said she discussed options with the city attorney. The Otter Tail County Assessor’s Office said property improved with paved streets is valued at $75 for the first 100 ft. with additional frontage prorated at 2/3 of $75 for the next 100 ft. and 1/3 of $75 for next 100 ft..
City Attorney Dirks discussed street policy requiring urban section improvements.
Presently the City assesses on first 150 ft. of improvement and defers the balance of assessments for a period of time or until property is sold if property owner requests it.
One possibility would be to adjust the assessment for larger lots, but that would require larger assessments on the smaller lots.
One possibility would be to require curb and gutter, but the City could participate to a greater extent than present policy provides.
One possibility would be to do nothing.
Administrative Assistant Richard A. Jenson said the City presently pays 80% of storm drain expense.
Council Member Nettestad asked if there is a way to have property appraised and attempt to determine what the value will be after the improvement.
City Attorney Dirks said the property must be improved by at least the cost of the assessment.
Council Member Nettestad asked if City could look at this improvement differently based on the traffic from the trailer court? City Attorney Dirks pointed out that that always opens the door to people arguing that they have similar problems.
Mayor Runningen said the City could reduce participation in storm drainage expense and contribute to curb and gutter.
Council Member Nettestad, “There’s something about a road having more than general traffic being supported to a greater extent and could be paid by the City.”
City Attorney Dirks replied, “That guideline may refer to a four lane main street with residences along it. It’s to the benefit of the City to have a main street. The real question for the City is does it want to share in the costs and does the City want it to be an urban section.”
Mayor Runningen questioned if the City wanted to pay for curb and gutter here since there is no storm drain expense? City Attorney Dirks said it would be better to create an overall policy for the entire City.
Council Members Nettestad and Waller will serve as Street Improvement Committee to continue checking into ways to share costs and examining other areas that are still served by gravel surfaced streets. Rural section improvements are not being considered at this time.
Mayor Runningen excused himself from the following discussion.
Acting Mayor Gottenborg assumed the chair concerning Lake Region Electrical Cooperative’s (LREC) request for a zone change from Commercial (C) to Residential (R2) Zone on site between 1st St and 3rd St NE, along the north side of 3rd Ave NE. He explained that neighboring property owners present for the Planning Commission Hearing concerning LREC’s request were concerned about impact of more development in the form of additional apartment buildings.
City Attorney Dirks said the City could create a new zone of R1-A that would permit up to four units but not more than four on a lot.
Elizabeth Martinson spoke on the changes in the neighborhood and requested that the Council only permit a change to R1 because six lots times four units is 24 more families in a small area. Their neighborhood has more traffic, crime, noise and litter than before the town homes were constructed.
Council Member Nettestad said, “I can see changing to R1 but population density is a concern in the neighborhood.”
Dan Elton, of LREC, said that a zone change to R1 instead of R2 would not be a serious problem to LREC.
Administrative Assistant Richard A. Jenson said LREC is requesting the zone change from commercial to residential because residential uses are more in keeping with the neighborhood than possible commercial uses such as convenience stores or gas stations.
Property owner Mary Bowers called to indicate that she would prefer a change to R1.
Motion by Waller, seconded by Magnusson to accept the Planning Commission’s recommendation and approve a zone change from Commercial to Residential 1 for Lake Region Electrical Cooperative on site between 1st St and 3rd St NE, along the north side of 3rd Ave NE. Voting yes: Acting Mayor Gottenborg, Council Members Nettestad, Waller and Magnusson. Voting no: none. Motion carried.
Mayor Runningen resumed the chair and discussed a personnel policy change to permit an employee to request up to 40 hours per year of paid overtime instead of compensatory time off.
City Attorney Dirks distributed the City of Pelican Rapids Overtime and Compensatory Time Policy for Council’s consideration. City Attorney Dirks said it’s simply a cost item and a question of if this benefit is something Council would like to provide. It has value as well because extra work is being performed.
Motion by Nettestad, seconded by Waller to accept the Overtime and Compensatory Time Policy. Motion passed unanimously.
Motion by Gottenborg, seconded by Magnusson to approve the Temporary Beer License for the Pelican Rapids Jaycees to conduct a Beer Garden and Street Dance during the Turkey Festival on July 16th and 17th. This approval is subject to receipt of fee and liquor liability insurance. Voting yes: Mayor Runningen, Council Members Nettestad, Gottenborg and Magnusson. Voting no: none. Abstaining: Council Member Waller. Motion carried.
Dean Capouch of Chamber of Commerce requested permission to use West Mill Avenue for a carnival during the Turkey Festival. Council did not feel it was appropriate to close the street for three days for the carnival on West Mill Ave due to apartments and need to drill holes in pavement.
Motion by Gottenborg, seconded by Magnusson to deny request to close West Mill Ave for three days for a carnival. Motion passed unanimously.
Engineer David Rein distributed information about Wastewater Treatment Facility (WWTF) Influent Flow Controls preliminary cost estimate which is 35% higher than originally proposed. Council discussed concerns about process.
Motion by Gottenborg, seconded by Waller to authorize WWTF Influent Flow Controls improvement to proceed subject to approval by City Attorney Scott Dirks that work can be considered as professional services. Motion passed unanimously.
Administrative Assistant Richard A. Jenson researched the Cooperative Purchase Agreement with the State of Minnesota and found that it is common practice to pay the fee at the time of purchase. The City does not need to take action at this time.
Motion by Waller, seconded by Gottenborg to approve the Chamber of Commerce’s request to close West Mill Ave on 7-10-99 for a Flea Market. Motion passed unanimously.
Administrative Assistant Richard A. Jenson has researched various garbage nuisance control ordinances and found there are some ways the City can control the problem.
Motion by Gottenborg, seconded by Waller to authorize City Attorney Scott Dirks to draft a Garbage Nuisance Control Ordinance. Motion passed unanimously.
Administrative Assistant Richard A. Jenson discussed the City’s efforts to be ready for the Year 2000. He said the departments have contacted vendors and have been assured, for the most part in writing, that our equipment, vehicles, computers and pumps are compliant. Utility companies Great Plains Natural Gas Co., Otter Tail Power Co. and Loretel Systems have informed the City that they do not expect a disruption in service. Jenson has checked with Otter Tail County and found that 911 dispatch is installing a new system that will be compliant. The City has placed information in the City Newsletter to inform citizens about various items. The City has filled out contingency plans for some areas.
LuAnn Quall of Minnesota Western Housing Partnership has a grant and would really like to renovate a house on West 108. The City could acquire this lot at a cost of $21. The Economic Development Authority would have to make this decision.
Motion by Gottenborg, seconded by Waller to notify County Auditor Wayne Stein to demolish house on West 108. Motion passed unanimously.
Council requested that the Community Action Council be notified to maintain their lot.
Meeting adjourned at 5:30 p.m.
Glenys Ehlert, CMC